Modestly Priced Quality Knives


May 28, 2012, 02:12 AM
This thread is spun off from the "Inexpensive Valuable Knives" thread.

This is the place to offer suggestions for knives you consider to be a bargain, modestly priced, yet providing good value, but which don't make the $25 cutoff in the other thread.

So, just to establish the framing for the price range, let's begin at $26 -- where the other thread leaves off -- and continue up to $60.

Some latitude is allowed for "outstanding value," in a knife that may cost a bit more than $60 but whose value would normally peg it as costing twice that.

Let's use some common sense. A $75 knife that's worth $75 is out of range for this discussion, even if it's your favorite and you know someone else would love one. For that, just start a separate thread.

I'm going to start off with the new Light My Fire / Mora product, the FireKnife.

I recently scored one of these for $25, FOB my front door, but the usual retail pricing is around $30.

They come in several colors: 165980

The one I got is green: 165981 - 165982 - 165983

See also the separate thread on this knife.

I will mention that there are several Mora knives that fall in this $26-to-$60 price range. The Swedish catalog at Ragnar's Forge ( has a lot of them.

Happily, the $60 cap opens the door to this little gem:
The The Eriksson Hand Axe weighs in at about 18 oz, and costs $59 at Ragnar's place.

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June 9, 2012, 11:22 AM
HSO....Does that French knife come in a boxed set with a white flag?:)

Here is my example of a good and "moderately" inexpensive knife. Certainly not $25 though.

June 9, 2012, 02:09 PM
These are my fixed blade hunting/camping knives. None cost me more than $40.00.

- Frost (import)
- Schrade (USA)
- Buck (USA)
- Steel Warrior (import)


June 10, 2012, 08:13 AM
Ontario RAT-1 folder.
SOG Salute
Gerber Metolius

Mikee Loxxer
June 10, 2012, 09:33 AM
Are Frost and Steel Warrior knives considered quality? I've never read any reviews of those brands. I know Gerber and Mora both offer a quality, inexpensive knife.

June 10, 2012, 09:48 AM
From CRKT,

The Delegate and Firespark can be had for about 49 to 59

From Kershaw,

Bawler, Drone, Volt ll, Burst, Needs Work, 39 to 49.

All are A/O, and I have used them all.

June 10, 2012, 10:16 AM
Kershaw 1550. Can be had on eBay for less than $50, assisted open, and holds a hair popping edge. I've owned four, not cuz they're cheap, I just lose things.

June 10, 2012, 10:17 AM
HK, that's a neat looking knife. What kind of Buck is it?

Pete D.
June 10, 2012, 12:18 PM
KA-Bar USMC plain edge. $56-$59.
They work and they last.
Ontario Knife makes a knock off that is very serviceable for about $43.

June 10, 2012, 12:34 PM
I like and have been carrying a kershaw shallot for a few years now. been used for everything regarding cutting/hacking/gutting/slicing and keeps a GREAT edge. it retains very well on your pocket, and also opens very quickly and locks very well via its speed opener.

June 10, 2012, 12:37 PM
Kershaw Scallion is my personal fave. Fits in my change pocket, deploys easily. I was lucky enough to get the damascus bladed stainless frame lock one from a forum member for about $30. LOVE it.

I have the smaller chive as well, and it's almost too small. Cute and razor sharp.

June 10, 2012, 03:55 PM
Off the top of my head, the basic Buck 110 is a good value for a hard use folder. I'm sure I'll think of others.

There are many Victorinox swiss army knife models that exceed $25 and they are generally an excellent overall value.

Il Duca
June 10, 2012, 04:12 PM
Kershaw Junkyard Dog (plain blade)
Kershaw Leek
Spyderco Centofante
Ontario Rat-1 or Utilitac
Most of Condor's lineup

June 10, 2012, 04:19 PM
Ontario RAT-1 - amazing value IMO.
Kershaw Skylikne
Kershaw Blur
Benchmade Mini Griptilain/Griptilan - just outside the price range but extreme value for the investment IMO

June 10, 2012, 04:55 PM
Forgive me in regard to your price range, as I (1) am not sure of some prices, and (2) prices may vary. That said-

-Custom knives.
It might surprise some folks what they can truly purchase from a Custom Knife Maker, in the price ranges Arf is referencing.
Just me, still I respect the craftsmanship and so forth and so on, a craftsman truly does. I have my reasons, and some know the "why" more than others.

Yes, I admit a preference for carbon steel, tool steel blades.
I also admit to coming up with Case.

Case Mako Shark. It fits MY hands, and while it does have that danged ole "stainless steel" blade, it fits my hands and I like the leather sheath. I miss a few I had in the past, especially one, hand engraved by a mentor.

I have this thing, while I again no longer have one, for the Case small fixed blade. Name escapes me (Little Finn ? or is it Trout & Bird ?)

Darn difficult to argue with a Buck 112 ( my preference) or a Buck 110.
The reality is these two are proven, and continue to prove.

Sending best-

June 10, 2012, 07:21 PM
Hands down, my two absolute favorite knives that hover around this price range (Either a touch over or a touch under, depending...) are the Spyderco Endura and the Kershaw Blur. The Endura has been my favorite knife for years, and the Blur has become a favorite over the last few months, bumping out even the very excellent Griptilian on my personal favorites list.

June 10, 2012, 08:19 PM
KA-Bar USMC plain edge. $56-$59.
They work and they last.
Ontario Knife makes a knock off that is very serviceable for about $43.
Considering that, one, Camillus was the company that first produced the USMC Mark 2 Combat Knife (also known as Knife, Fighting Utility and model 1219C2), and, two, Ontario has also been contracted by the DOD to make the same knife for military use; The Ontario isn't a knock off. It's the real deal for about 1/3 less money. Ontario is also the current contractor for the slightly smaller, but similarly constructed, so called "US Air Force Survival Knife" which is the standard Air Crew Survival Knife for most of DOD.

June 10, 2012, 08:29 PM
Buck 110 and any of the Older Shrade or Shrade Walden made in the USA hunting and fishing knives.

June 11, 2012, 10:37 AM
I love my Spyderco Pacific Salt. It spent almost a week in my swimtrunks last month on vacation going in and out of the sea and the pool without rinsing and only got a spot of rust on the etching.

June 11, 2012, 04:21 PM
Is buying brand new a requirement? Once I started paying attention to used items on Amazon, I was amazed at the deals I could find on knives. I bought a "demo" Gerber Prodigy for $15 below the advertised new price at the time, and it turned out to be brand new in the package. I also picked up a used Buck Nighthawk that could have passed for new except for a replaced clasp on the sheath. Most recently, I picked up a USA Gerber Gator for half price, also "used" on Amazon but showing zero signs of use.

Aside from those, I'm quite happy with my various Ontario knives (all USA-made) and the CRKT M60 (Taiwan) that can be found for $30-35; if it was made in the USA, I'm sure it'd cost double or triple, and I have no issue buying products made in Taiwan.

June 11, 2012, 04:28 PM
When I think good bargain knives, I automatically think Mora. Its hard to beat that value. For pocket knives, I think its pretty hard to be the Spyderco Delica or Kershaw Leek for quality at a reasonable price.

June 12, 2012, 12:54 PM
Buck 143 $20

Condor Bushcraft Basic 5" $23

Mod Edit:

Since these fall below $25, I've moved the content to the Inexpensive Valuable Knives thread.

June 16, 2012, 08:59 PM
Most Quality Fixed Bladed knifes are over the 25 dollars now days unless you get a used one from an estate sale, garage sale or like,

June 16, 2012, 11:45 PM
Staying at or just over $60 I think Spydercos many Delica and Endura model versions, and their variants like the many Salt and Rescue versions are tough to beat.

At right around the $60 mark the standard VG10 blade Delica and Endura are great values. The Delica based Salt I is still under $70, and the H1 steel is looking like the best thing going for anyone who needs a knife with extreme rust resistance. The ZDP-189 blade Delica and Endura are pushing the limit at just under $100, but I think that steel really pushes them into the exceptional value category.

Along the same theme, the Delica and Endura's little brother the Dragonfly is another exceptional value. With their 2&1/2" blades, and very well designed handles they're still big enough to use for pretty serious tasks, unlike the the key ring sized Ladybug and Man Bug. At under $70 for the ZDP-189 model the entire FRN handle range of these knives meets the price criteria (there are a few even higher priced variants, but I'm not sure they meet the value criteria as well).

June 17, 2012, 04:43 AM
Spyderco Cat ( is a terrific, well-mannered little folder for around $40. The Chicago is similar but only has a 2" blade.

The Dragonfly cuts disproportionately for its size, but really is a bit on the small side. It's around the same price as the Cat, and only a few dollars more for the H1 version.

The Spyderco Lightweight Native 2 ( can usually be found for around $60. It's a terrific knife, and though I've finally found knives I like more, it's still what I carried for 10 years or more.

An especially neat modestly priced, very useful knife is the Spyderco Persistence Blue Sprint ( The Persistence ( one of the very best EDC choices for less than $40 out there, and this limited-release version has nifty blue G10 scales. :)

June 20, 2012, 03:40 PM
When it comes to lower end of the price spectrum in the modern knife world I've always had a great deal of respect for the Cold Steel Voyagers. Particularly the newer generation that features the excellent Triad-Lock. My only quarrel with the newer genreation Voyagers is that they feature AUS-8 instead of VG-1But still AUS-8 is more than serviceable IMO anyhow.

June 21, 2012, 01:23 PM
Just for my education, I tallied the recommendations. Looks like Spyderco and Kershaw are run away favorites. Interesting..... I don't own either maker, yet:)

My choice is the Ka Bar Cutlass 1248: $53.94 shipped to my door

June 22, 2012, 02:50 AM
Dont get much better for that lil money.

It has been my EDC for 6 weeks now.
120mm in length, the tightest lock ever
and so slim - i forget it is in my backpocket.

Awesome quality - for the price.
I think u can get it for like 30$ in the US.

June 22, 2012, 08:48 PM
Thanks I need to get a bushman!

June 22, 2012, 09:30 PM
I usually try to lean toward USA manufacture, but one of my all-time favorite EDC blades is the Boker Trance. It's a very comfortable, controllable and useful blade. AUS-8 steel, reversible sturdy pocketclip and very thin profile make it one of my top picks. I have two. Generally around $30.

June 22, 2012, 09:36 PM

You can actually get it delivered to the door here reliably for $23, making it a candidate for the inexpensive quality knife thread.

June 22, 2012, 11:27 PM
For a fixed blade value I like the carbon steel knives made by Jeff White and sold on ebay.

Several styles that are about $35 or so for the knife and add $20 for a sheath

Nice 1095 steel easy to sharpen and to touch up in the field. Made as a "primitive" knife so very minimal polish. Heat treating very good, handles very nice usually figured wood. Sheaths hand stitched and well done by a partner leather guy

Not stainless. Not meant to cut concrete More than good enough for field work

June 23, 2012, 12:30 AM
spyderco tenacious line, kershaw chill, skyline, and the new cryo looks yummy. A used benchamde griptillian. the benchamde Vex was pretty nice. the boker trance is nice but bulky. and how about a tiny swiss army knife.

June 23, 2012, 12:37 AM
Old, old timers, case, buck, kershaw, sog. I've had good luck with all.

where are these 60$ customs? That's worth a name drop for a possibly new knife maker.

Ain't nothing like handmade

June 23, 2012, 12:59 AM
Kim Breed was selling his medium neck knife for right at $60, and the little neck knife for right at $30 IIRC at The Blade Show. I doubt he can offer the show price all the time; but he's a member here using his real name as his user name, so send him a PM for options and prices.

His friend and partner knife maker Gary Wheeler (G.WHEELERKNIVES here on THR) has some modestly priced smaller knives, but he's an ABS Journeyman Smith so you'll probably pay a bit more than $60, but I'm not him, and I don't set his prices.

Either of these gents will make you a great knife for a very reasonable price (or even higher end knives for higher prices if you so desire).

June 23, 2012, 01:02 AM
Thanx for the info:)

June 23, 2012, 07:42 PM
I got a CRKT Hammond Cruiser for 24 bucks at Academy Sports to my 17th anniversy from my wife.

June 23, 2012, 08:01 PM
Maia007, Thanks for the heads up on Jeff White. Just bid on 6+ of his knives on Ebay. He is about 45 minutes from my home.


June 24, 2012, 05:03 AM

.... well its more like 50$ over here .. so it fits the category for me.

For 23$ id order 5 bushmans instantly.

Perfect knife for every toolbox, car ...etc.
Really impressed with it.

For 23$ it should be the third knife in the Opinel, Mora .... List.


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